Vaginal cancer

We know a diagnosis of vaginal cancer can be hard. Let our gynecological cancer experts at Spectrum Health Cancer Center help. As a team, let's work together to create a customized treatment plan designed especially for you.

Vaginal cancer is rare, with only about 4,000 U.S. cases a year. A PAP smear (test for cervical cancer) detects vaginal cancer. A gynecological exam can also show abnormalities in the vagina, but there may be no symptoms at all. Pain during intercourse, abnormal bleeding or a lump in the vagina may occur. With early detection, it is highly treatable.

Treatment options

Your treatment options for vaginal cancer depend on several factors, including the type and its stage. The most common treatments include surgery and radiation, but if those can’t control your cancer, you may be offered other treatments, including chemotherapy or clinical trials.

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This well-known cancer treatment uses medicines taken intravenously or by mouth to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Chemotherapy may be given before surgery to shrink tumors, or after to fight cancer cells that have potentially spread.

Local excision
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This surgery removes cancerous tissue and a surrounding rim of healthy tissue. It's also called wide excision. In early stages, this may be all that's needed if lymph nodes are clear.

Radiation oncology
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A team of medical professionals with advanced training deliver radiation treatment and care.

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This surgery removes the portion of the vagina that is cancerous. This can be partial, total or, in cases where the cancer has spread, a radical vaginectomy also removes surrounding tissue.

A Powerful Second Opinion

Need a consultation, already diagnosed or want a second opinion? We are here to help.